No one assumed his leg and ankle were healthy enough to play, but the feeling came over Tony Allen 10 minutes before the Celtics were supposed to tip off against the Knicks two Fridays ago.
“I just felt good,” Allen said. “The warm-up I did with [strength and conditioning coach] Bryan Doo. The massage I had before. I felt good. I just felt like, ‘I need to give it a shot. See where I’m at.’”
Moments before the tip he talked to Doc Rivers, who gave him the green light. Allen played eight minutes, and after that, the swelling started.
“Big time,” Allen said.
He hasn’t played in the three games since, dealing with inflammation and scar tissue in the ankle. After staying back on the team’s road trip for strength and conditioning. He and Bill Walker (knee) will both miss the Celtics’ trip to Toronto.
In the meantime, it’s more strengthening, more massages.
“They’ve just been wanting to keep me off it right now,” Allen said. “It was unfortunate that it swole up on me afterwards. It was aching pretty bad. I’m just focusing on trying to get this right. I know it’s going to take a little time, but I feel my body is in shape. I’ve got days for extra strengthening, extra conditioning, I feel good from that standpoint. It’s just an aching injury that they expected to be aching around this point.”
Allen said setback doesn’t sway his confidence, but he said he’d likely be sidelined the next two weeks and realizes he’ll have to play catch-up once he does return.
“I’m looking forward to try to get back around second or third game into the season,” said Allen.. “But I’ve got to first get practices under my belt. Seeing how my ankle’s going to react in practice. But I’ve been working hard.”